Cat playing for dad

Colac Imperials captain Joey Noseda, pictured left, is fulfilling a dream of her late father Bryan in her first season of football. The 18-year-old is among seven footballers who travelled from Apollo Bay to play this season, along with, from left, Moni Matthews, Emily Clemmens, Tori Cooper, Gabbi Featherston, Georgia Watkins and Mia Featherston.

Colac Imperials captain Joey Noseda says she wanted to fulfil a dream of her late father Bryan by taking up football this season.

Joey and the Imps’ under-19 girls’ football team will hope to wrap up their inaugural season with a premiership in Sunday’s grand final against Grovedale.

The Apollo Bay teenager said she jumped at the opportunity to join the Imps when they announced they would field women’s teams this year.

Joey, 18, said her father – Apollo Bay Football Club legend Bryan Noseda – was “so excited” when she expressed interest last season in joining a proposed Colac Tigers girls’ football side, which ultimately fell through on the eve of the season.

Joey said her father was a big supporter of girls’ football, and was on track to have a coaching role with the Tigers’ team before tragedy struck in April last year, when he died in a truck accident.

“The night before he died he took me to my first training and he was so excited,” Joey said.

“He was really excited about me playing football, and he was even going to help coach,” she said.

“We were pretty disappointed when the Colac Tigers side fell through, so when this opportunity came up I was pretty keen to play.

“I love it, and I feel like it kind of connects me to my dad a bit.”

Joey is among seven committed footballers who travel from Apollo Bay to train and play with the Imps every week, along with fellow under-19s Moni Matthews and Emily Clemmens, and under-15s Tori Cooper, Georgia Watkins and Gabbi and Mia Featherston, the daughters of Apollo Bay champion Peter Featherston.

“I’ve always wanted to play football because of my brothers and my dad,” Joey said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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